BellTel files request for extension to operating permit

28 Mar 2012

The Business Mirror newspaper reports that Filipino telco Bell Telecommunication Philippines (BellTel), owned by local diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC), has filed a request with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to extend its provisional authority to construct, operate and maintain a digital Personal Communications Network (PCN) in the Philippines. The operator’s permit was due to expire on 17 April this year. BellTel is asking for the extension to enable it to continue preparations for the launch of commercial mobile operations, it said. In the filing, the company confirmed that it is ‘almost finished with its organisational build-up and has nearly completed filling in all of its component departments.’ Having already been granted a five-year period of grace in January this year in which to roll out its network, it now hopes to implement full-blown commercial services on or before 13 June 2013.

BellTel was originally awarded a provisional authority in October 2007 (valid until April 2009), but as it failed to launch within that period due to a lack of frequencies, it successfully applied for an extension until April this year. In May 2011 the NTC finally allocated it with 2×10MHz of cellular mobile frequencies in the 1710MHz-1720MHz and 1805MHz-1815MHz bands for its mobile service. It is now considering proposals from manufacturers and software suppliers for the equipment needed to build the network.